Regional One Health held its annual fundraising gala at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night (April 5th) to raise money and awareness for the former Regional Medical Center at Memphis (the MED).
The premiere event, dubbed "MED Night: A Soul Celebration," benefits The MED Foundation and featured, as always, an all-star cast of soulful musicians and entertainers who'd topped the charts in their heyday and remain today as influential as they were during the days of vinyl records.
The sold-out event attracted a gala audience of men and women who listened intently and moved their bodies to the melodious music of the New Ballet Ensemble and the captivating performances by Shirley Alton Reeves, once the lead singer of The Shirelles, Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue, and Kool & The Gang.
"This year's fundraising goal was $4 million," said Tammie Ritchey, CRFE, Vice-President of Development and Foundation Executive Director. That goal has been exceeded, she added.
Regional One Health is the new name of the Shelby County Health Care Corp., which had done business as The MED for 30 years. The acute care hospital and its entities now fall under the umbrella of Regional One Health.
"We came up with a new vision to become a premier academic medical center," said Dr. Reginald W. Coopwood, President and CEO of Regional One Health. "This renewed the staff to heights never seen. We have to be invested in the mind, body and soul of each individual that we treat."
Coopwood said the flourishing academic medical center is where miracles happen each and every day. The investment, he added, goes much further than healing those without insurance or those who've experienced extreme trauma.
The room was filled with donors and community leaders. Coopwood gave the audience a peek of the new vision for the hospital and shed light on how everybody could play a part in that vision.
"In order to achieve this vision, we have to have unity," he said. "What Memphis is missing that other major cities its size have is an academic medical center, where research is done to best understand and treat illnesses."
To achieve this, Coopwood said, "We have to have unity so that no one in this community seeks to have health care provided elsewhere. Think about the economic impact of that and the intellectual capital that a research hospital brings to our city."
The hospital has provided inpatient and outpatient services since 1983, the year the Shelby County Health Care Corp. adopted the name Regional Medical Center. One of its patients, admitted to Regional One Health after a golf car accident, has been impressed with the hospital's services.
"They put so much time in each patient," said Stewart Nichols, a student at Hutchinson High School who'd suffered second- and third-degree acid burns following the accident. "They do so much. The people who work there are invested and deserve for the community to invest in them."
Although the purpose of the fundraiser was to raise funds for the hospital, Captain Henry Nixon, Vice-President of the Foundation's Board of Directors, said, "Regional One Health is becoming the hospital of choice and at the same time the hospital that reaches out to the community at-large."